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About drug testing

Drug Testing Information

What Do They Test For?

Cannabinoids (marijuana, THC, weed, hash)
Cocaine (crack, coke, benzoylecognine, rock)
Amphetamines (amphetamines, methamphetamines, speed, crystal meth)
Opiates (heroin, opium, codeine, morphine)
Phencyclidine (PCP)

Types of Drug Tests

There are three primary types of drug sample : blood, urine, and hair. Most common is the urine test which has the benefit of being inexpensive and less intrusive than the blood test.

Urine Tests

  • Are the least expensive of the test methods (~$25-$50).
  • Can be done at home (for example by parents).
  • Detect use primarily within the past week (longer with regular use).
  • Can be affected by abstaining from use for a period of time
    before the test.
  • Are often temperature tested to insure sample integrity.

Hair Tests

  • Are considered the least intrusive method of drug testing.
  • Are currently many times more expensive than urine tests (~$100-$150).
  • Detect substance use over a longer period (see detection times).
  • Do not usually detect use within the past week.
  • Require a sample of hair about the diameter of a pencil and 1.5 inches long. They can not be done with a single hair.
  • Test positive a little more than twice as often as a urine test. In a recent study, out of 1823 paired hair and urine samples, 57 urine samples tested positive for drugs of abuse; while 124 hair samples from the same group tested positive.
  • Are not significantly affected by brief periods of abstinence from drugs.
  • Can sometimes be used to determine when use occured and if it has been discontinued. Drugs, such as opiates (codeine, morphine, heroin) lay down on the hair shaft very tightly and are shown not to migrate along the shaft, thus, if a long segment of hair is available one can draw some "relative" conclusions about when the use occurred. However cocaine, although very easy to detect, is able to migrate along the shaft; making it very difficult to determine when the drug was used and for how long.
  • Claims to be able to reliably differentiate between opiate and poppy seed use.

Blood Tests

  • Are considered the most intrusive method of testing.
  • Are the most expensive method of testing.
  • Are the most accurate method of testing.
  • Are the least common method of testing (most likely due to cost).

Detection Periods

  • Drug Approximate Detection Time in Urine:

Alcohol 1-2 days
Amphetamines (crystal, Ice, crank, methamphetamines) 5-7 days Barbituates Short-Acting (ie. secobarbital) 1-2 days
Barbituates Long-Acting (ie. phenobarbital) 2-3 weeks
Benzodiazepines (Librium®,Valium®,Serax,Xanax®) 2-30 days Cannabinoids (THC,Marijuana) 20-90 days
Clenbuterol 2-4 days Cocaine (Crack) 3-5 days
Codeine 2-5 days Euphorics (MDMA, Ecstasy)
3-7 days LSD 1-4 days
Methadone 3-5 days Methaqualone (Quaalude) l-14 days
Opiates (heroin, Vicode, morphine, codeine) 2-7 days
Phencyclidine (PCP, Angel Dust) 1-30 days
Phenobarbital 10-20 days
Propoxyphene (Darvon) 1-3 days
Psilocybin (mushrooms) 3-5
Steroids (anabolic) oral 14 days

The amount of time any drug can be detected in one's system can vary from person to person and test to test. It certainly can also depend on the amount of the drug taken and when it was taken relative to the time of the test. Keeping in mind that there is no 100% hard and fast rule for how long a drug will be in one's system, listed above are some general guidelines on the drug test detection time for various drugs.

Detection Time is the number of days after intake of a drug that an individual would be expected to excrete detectable levels of drug metabolite in urine. These are average times only ­ for each drug, detection may be possible (but less likely) for significantly longer than listed. Detection may be influenced by a variety of factors including dosage, frequency of use, liquid consumption, and individual metabolic characteristics.

Note: Detection times will vary depending on analytical method used, drug metabolism, tolerance, patient's condition, fluid intake and method and frequency of ingestion. These are general guidelines only, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.

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